Analyst Corner: How to Effectively Communicate With Retailers

communication with retailers

For shoppers, helpful and friendly staff remains the number one driver to a particular convenience store. Engaging with the local community, being on hand to help and a personable/friendly attitude are just three things that shoppers expect and receive from the majority of convenience stores. But what do retailers expect from suppliers and wholesalers? How do they want to be contacted? How frequently? Read on as we share snippets from our latest report, Effective Communication with Retailers, that identify the needs of independent and symbol retailers and the opportunities for suppliers and wholesalers…

Retailers rate their relationship with supplier reps as important

Overall, 72% of symbol and independent convenience store retailers rate their relationship with their manufacturers rep as important or very important. When split out, 44% of independent retailers rate their relationship with manufacturer reps as very important, in comparison to 37% of symbols – this is up from 23% and 28% respectively in 2018, highlighting a significant increase in the proportion of retailers that value manufacturer relationships as very important.

This increase highlights the importance of effective communication that targets retailers with the information they desire via their preferred methods of contact.

34% prefer face-to-face contact from suppliers and wholesalers.

Over a third of retailers want wholesaler and supplier reps to come and visit them in person. Following F2F, the next preferred methods are phone (18%), email (18%) and post (16%). However, this order changes when symbol and independent retailers are looked at separately. Email is a more important method of communication for symbols, while post is more important for communicating with independents. More advanced methods of communication, such as social media, WhatsApp and push notifications are less desired.

Wholesalers and suppliers need to consider how best to engage with retailers – if face to face is not possible, the next preferred method differs between symbols and independents.

Retailers read the press

Most retailers regularly read at least one trade publication for advice on their store. This highlights a great opportunity for wholesalers and suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to the industry and also target a large volume of retailers easily (some of which may not be their customer).

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